You Snooze, You Looze

It’s happened to you.  It’s happened to all of us.

It can’t be trusted, and yet we continually put our trust in it.

What is this strange power it has over us?

The Snooze Button. There’s one on every digital alarm clock and its sole purpose is to make you late for something.

Walk with me here for a moment… You have an appointment in the morning. Work. The dentist. A breakfast date with your spouse/child/dog. Whatevs. You set your alarm so you’ll get up to be there on time. Sleep. Peaceful, happy, dreamy, lovely sleep. ALARM! I’M UP I’M UP I’M UP. Maybe just a few more minutes. You hit… Snooze. BOOM. You’re screwed.  Has this happened to you?  Of course it has.  But don’t worry, Humble Dave is going to sort you out.

First off, snooze is rarely the same amount of time on an alarm clock. It can be anywhere from 5-15 minutes, and if you didn’t read the manual it’s just a guessing game.

In fact, “snooze” is one of the great variables of the universe. If snooze =n, then n=”the exact amount of time needed to make you late for an appointment.” Scientists have been studying this phenomena for decades and are no closer to understanding its mysteries. Wait.  Stop. You were going to look this up on the internet to verify my claims. Don’t do that. Look it up in your gut. You know it’s true.

Fine, you want science? Snoozing is more likely to ruin your night’s rest.

Probably who use the snooze are more likely to late.   I’m not going to source this because I made it up.  But, you just read it on the internet, so you know it’s true.  EVERYTHING ON THE INTERNET CAN BE TRUSTED!

According to a Professor Matthew Walker, neuroscientist (wow that sounds super official!), snoozing inflicts “cardiovascular assault” on your body!

Okay, here’s a big one.  This article actually starts off by saying a snooze or two isn’t bad (idiots), but then goes on to say that snoozing can cause one of the most horrific side effects I’ve ever heard: YOU MISS YOUR MORNING POOP! Dear God, WAKE UP SHEEPLE!

Is that enough? Here’s the important bit. Are you paying attention? Set your alarm for the time you want to get up, then get up when it goes off. Move it across the room if you have to. Use an alarm like the Ruggie. Do whatever you have to do. Don’t let the snooze do to you what it’s done to so many others. Minutes, years, decades of lost time. Remember, you snooze, you looze.

As always, thanks for reading, and you’re welcome.

Living The Dream,
Humble Dave

p.s. I know it’s spelled “lose.” But I’m in charge here, and I liked it better this way. #Dealwithit

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The Universe Is Not Out To Get You

This isn’t the sort of thing I’d normally write in my blog.  I usually like my writing to be fun and upbeat.  Like most people, I suppose, I like to show people “Happy Dave,” and not the other guy.  Why dump my problems on other people who undoubtedly have problems of their own to deal with (Grammarians, you can take your “with which they have to deal” and stuff it)?  But who knows, maybe I won’t even publish this blog and you’ll never read it anyway.  Here goes.

The Universe is out to get me.

I got laid off from my job March 31, 2017.  It didn’t come as a big surprise, although it happened faster than I expected.  I wasn’t TOTALLY upset, because I wasn’t really interested in what I was doing anymore.  It was one of those jobs that kept the machine moving by taking value from one space and adding it to another.  Ultimately, I wasn’t really adding value to the system, just moving it around.  I USED to be a true believer in the work, back when I started, but after 10+ years of doing it… well, deck chairs on the titanic.

My goal was to take three months to relax, recharge, and reassess, then move forward in a new direction.  I wanted not only a new career, but I wanted it in a new industry.  As if that wouldn’t be hard enough, my real challenge was I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up.  It makes no difference that at the time I was 40.  I was still lost.  Regardless, my plan started off well enough, I suppose.  I relaxed.  I surfed the web looking at different companies, jobs, etc., just trying to learn what else was out there.  I spent a lot of time with our new dog whom we rescued March 1.  Although there was always that ever-present pressure to get a job, things were okay.  Well, okay enough, anyway.  The important thing was that I was excited to try something new, and motivated to execute this new plan.

Unfortunately, the Universe is out to get me.

July I got a neck injury that left me in INCREDIBLE pain.  Forget moving around, but not moving around was almost as painful.  I had to take an extensive cocktail of nerve-blockers, painkillers, muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatories, etc multiple times a day, and that was so I could sit on the couch.  Doctors visits, meds, x-rays, meds, MRI’s, meds, Physical Therapy, meds… you get the picture.  It SUCKED. I wrote a whole blog back in February about this bit which you can read here.  If you want to save time (you should read it though, it was a good one!), I’ll tell you that it ends with me feeling better and beginning to embark on beginning to embark on a real estate career.  I had some hope.

But the Universe is out to get me.

In mid February I re-injured my neck.  This sent me into a deeper depression, and I lost all my motivation to study for my real estate exam (If I’m being completely honest, which I might as well since I’m not convinced I’m actually going to publish this blog, my thoughts were turning dark.  I got scared, realized I needed help, and made an appointment for therapy.  Never had it before, but I figured, this is what it’s for).  After more doctors, meds, x-rays, and MRI’s discovered that my neck was worse, and in addition to bulging discs I had some bone spurs pressing on my spinal cord and narrowing my nerve canals.  I don’t think nerve canals are the technical term, but I like it.  They’re where the nerves leave the spinal cord and exit the vertebrae to go do their thing in your body.  And those canals were partially closed off.  Result: Incredible nerve pain. Hooray!  After seeing a couple of neurosurgeons we determined I needed Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) surgery.  I wrote all about this here.  Surgery went great, and I wrote all about the hospital stay here.

So now I’m 2 weeks post-surgery.  Neck is healing well, although I have a heck of a scar, still some numbness and nerve pain, and an inability to life anything heavier than a jug of milk, I’m doing okay.  Saw the neurosurgeon yesterday and he confirmed my recovery is on track.

So here we sit, back on the couch. I’m not quite where I was April 2017.  Still no job.  Can’t walk my dog, due to the injury (heehee, dog doo).  Still don’t really know what I want to be when I grow up, although I recently watched an awesome TED talk that might help with that.  I do have a potential career in the works in the meantime as soon as I get back into studying for and subsequently passing my real estate exam.  And perhaps most importantly, with all the extra time I’ve had to think, I realized something:

The Universe is NOT out to get me.

Despite being incredibly humble (and you know it’s true, because I have my own website that says so), I am incredibly ego-centric.  Everything that happens, happens to ME, personally.  Cut off in traffic, THAT ASSHOLE!  Drop the cap of my water bottle on the floor?  FUCK YOU, LIFE!  Get injured, WHY ME?  And you may or may not know this, but when you’re depressed the little problems get so much bigger.  The gardeners not mowing a small patch of grass in the yard becomes a problem so insurmountable that it frustrates you the point of tears.

It’s only very recently, after my first therapy appointment, that I’m starting to realize it’s nothing personal.  The Universe is truly NOT out to get me. Everyone has problems, and everyone can choose to let it go and move on.  It’s been hard for me to step outside myself and realize this.  And I’m far from accepting it emotionally.  But hopefully this will help me to move on.  Besides, things tend to balance out, so I’m probably due for something good soon, right?

Anyway, sorry for this wall of text.  I’ve been writing it for so long I don’t even know what in here anymore.  If you’re reading it, I didn’t go back and edit anything (although I did make some edits “on-the-fly”) so if it’s tripe just say so in the comments.  If anything I said resonates with you go ahead and comment on that as well.  Also, if you hated it just pretend you never read it and move on.  This will probably not be indicative of the stye of post you’ll see on my blog.  I apparently felt it was necessary at the time, and in here nobody can tell me what to do.  If I’m learning anything through this process it’s that, for me, writing is cathartic.  Also reading, but that’s also for another blog post.

As always, thanks for reading, and you’re welcome.

Living the Dream,
Humble Dave

edit: so I wrote this yesterday (4/20/18) with really no intention of publishing it, but what the heck.

Just Another Pain In The Neck

Welp, it’s finally happening. I made it nearly 42 years before I reached this point, but I’m here. Surgery. Doctors are going to take me apart and put me back together again. Huh. I assume they’re going to put me back together again. How would I know? What if they open me up, take me apart, and are like, “Okay, who brought the replacement part? We’re ready for it.” And then they’ll all kinda look at each other, shrug, and just… wander off. It could happen! Look around you, people. This is a weird timeline we’re living in right now. Anything’s possible.

Granted, it more likely they’ll finish the surgery smoothly and that’ll be that, but I’m just saying… weird timeline.

Anyway, if you know me at all, you know I’ve been having a bit of neck pain over the the past 9 months. I say “a bit of neck pain” in the same way one might say the pacific ocean has a bit of water in it. It actually has a lot, in case… ummmm… that’s something you didn’t know for some reason. Which would be weird. I’m not judging. It would be a lot less weird than some of the other stuff I’ve been reading lately.

So back to my pain in the neck.. Surgery is the solution. Hopefully. Already tried medication, rest, physical therapy, and begging for it to go away. No luck. So, surgery! Specifically Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) surgery. Basically what they do is open up my throat, shove all the junk in there off to the side (esophagus, trachea, arteries, etc), rip out one of the discs in my spine (specifically between C5 & C6), grind out some extra bone, screw in a metal spacer, put the rest of my throat back and stitch me up. Done and done.

I wonder if I can keep the disc they’re removing? My wife doesn’t think so. That seems unfair. It IS mine, after all. Really, it’s more mine than almost anything else. Literally a part of me. Had it my whole life. I’m kinda sad to see it go. We’ve had some good times, that disc and I. Ah well.

I also wonder if I should record it? Set up a camera in the corner? It might be interesting to see what the inside of my neck and spine look like, right? Probably gross, but still… a learning experience.

It’s late and I’m tired, so I’m not entirely positive any of this rambling makes sense. There’s a good chance it doesn’t. I was watching Flight of the Conchords while typing, so… distracted. However, if you’ve made it this far I guess it’s good enough.

To sum up: First surgery – slit throat and spine removal. Pretty standard really. Souvenir unlikely.

As always, thanks for reading, and you’re welcome.

-Humble Dave

Have You Ever Regretted a Google Search?

I have.  Only once, really.  Now I’m not talking about, “Oh I clicked this link and now I regret what I saw.”  No.  I’m talking about actively searching for something you thought you wanted more information about, only to realize that you were much happier in ignorance.  I’ve only done it once, and if you read this, maybe I can save you a mistake.

A number of years ago I got laser eye surgery (technically I had “Advanced Surface Ablation”, which basically means they melted the front of my eyeball off before lasering it into the right shape).  I THOUGHT it would be a good idea to do some independent research.  I started with the doctor who would be performing the surgery.  All good news!  Hooray!  You know she did Tony Hawk’s eyes!  And if I’m remembering correctly (and if you know me, you’d know this is questionable), the guy who invented the machine that does the lasering comes to her for “touch ups.”  Great!

Then I decided to research what could go wrong.  Holy Sh*t (I almost never curse in these blogs, but even just remembering that search is bringing back the anxiety I had after reading these search results.).  The stories were awful, but the PICTURES were the stuff of nightmares.  Apparently shooting lasers at your eyeholes might have a downside.  Who knew?  This ALMOST made me change my mind.  Fortunately I didn’t, and after a week of absolute misery (thank you Wife for being the absolute best nurse ever!) I have 20/20 vision.  I did not receive any super powers (which I’ll admit left me slightly disappointed), so… you know… I wouldn’t go into it expecting that, I guess.

laser eyes

Anyway, the chance for error is teeny tiny, especially if you go to a reputable place.  Here’s a tip: You don’t want the lowest bid for laser eye surgery.  Mine was $4,000 ($2k/eye).  TOTALLY WORTH IT.  I maxed out my FSA that year so about half of it was pre-tax.  But I digress…

Anyway, that is probably the only time I’ve regretted actively searching for something on google.  What’s your story?  Share it in the comments below!

As always, thanks for reading.  And, you’re welcome.

Living the Dream,
-Humble Dave

Wow. Kind of a lot has happened (Part 2)

Geez, I am TERRIBLE about writing here consistently.  However, the important thing to remember is that “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” which also tastes terrible and sour unless you add sugar.  So, I guess it’s equally important to find someone sweet to mix with the life-lemonade.  What, you ask, does this have to do with Part 2?  Nothing, I just ramble sometimes.  I suppose if you didn’t like my rambling you wouldn’t have made it this far into my blog.  So…. you’re welcome?

I left Part 1 off somewhere after we got Cody and I’m supposed to start part 2 off with job hunting.  This one will cover the now 10ish months since I got laid off March 31, 2017.  Don’t worry, it won’t take you 10 months to read.  Job hunting sucks, so I don’t care to relive it detail.

My plan was thus:  Take a few months after getting laid off to relax, decompress, re-evaluate my life and decide on the best direction to move.  My though process was this:  I no longer enjoyed what I was doing (Financial advisor recruiting, relationship management, and firm business development), and this was an excellent opportunity to make a career change and find something I DO like, and fulfills me emotionally.  Guess what?  It’s harder than it sounds.

First of all, my plan was going swimmingly until at the beginning of month 4 (July 2017), when I was really getting into the groove and applying to jobs that sounded interesting (Account Manager and Relationship manager positions at tech firms) I got injured.  And not the kind of injury where you’re like, okay, I’m injured but still functional.  Not me, I don’t do things half was.  I got the kind of injury where I’m COMPLETELY OUT OF COMMISSION for months and months.  I was on so many meds and painkillers there was no resume updating, no interviewing, and certainly no job applying going on during this time.  I still looked at jobs to help me keep an eye on what was out there, but… no real luck.

A quick note on the injury:  I squished a disc in my neck between C5 and C6 which is bulging out, narrowing the pathway in which nerves exit the spine.  What this really means is EXCRUCIATING PAIN in my neck, shoulder, and left arm all the way down to my fingers.  Sitting?  Excruciating pain.  Walking?  Nope.  Carrying anything heavier than a couple pounds?  Dear god please no.  When you’re in pain doctors always ask you, “On a scale of 1-10 where is the pain now?”  I’m too detail oriented, I suppose, because this drives me crazy.  How do I quantify my pain level on a scale of numbers with no corresponding state?  I have to assume 10 is MAX PAIN, right?  So that would be pain that renders me unconscious, right?  A 9 would be pain so bad that all you can do is cry on the ground in a fetal position begging for unconsciousness.  An 8 is pain so all encompassing that every thought in your head is 100% focused on “how can I make this pain stop right now.”

I spent some time at level 8, and might have tapped a 9 at some point.  It’s MISERABLE.  There were literally only 2 positions I could be in that limited my pain…. hmmm… I’m totally off track here.  Let me bring this back around to the job.

I was in terrible pain and on mind-melting medications until mid September, when I finally started feeling well enough to take short walks outside the house.  It was on one of these walks that we stopped at an open house in the neighborhood.  I’ve met the realtor here a number of times, and my community is his “farm,” which means he’s worked this area for many years and does most of the listings here.  Really nice guy.  We chatted for a bit and he suggested I might like being a real estate agent.

I thought about it for a while, and realized it checked the 3 “big picture” boxes I had for me ideal job:

  1. I want to like the company I work for and enjoy what I’m doing.
    • I’d be working for myself, but with the tech and support of a big company behind me.  Also, I like working with people, and everyone needs a place to live!
  2. I want what I do to have a positive impact on other people’s lives.
    • Helping people sell their existing homes for the most value seems like a great thing to do.  One the flip side, helping buyers find their “dream home” or even buy their first “starter” home seems like it would be changing the world for the better, one family at a time.
  3. I want to make enough money for Jas, Cody, and me to live comfortably in San Diego.
    • Full time realtors who work hard, are honest and personable, and don’t give up when times are hard can make a GREAT living in a market where the average home price is around $600K+.  In the immortal words of Frito from “Idiocracy”: I like money.

So I have embarked on my real estate career!  Signed up for Keller Williams real estate pre-licensing courses in the beginning of October.  Finished the 3 classes and passed their final exams by mid-January.  Sent my application along with licensing fees to the California Bureau of Real Estate (Cal-BRE) and have approximately 5 weeks to wait until they process my application and open my testing window.  I then have… a year, maybe to pick a test date and pass.  Irregardlessly (eat it, grammar check.  I adverbed an imaginary word and there’s nothing you can do about it!), I’ll take the test as soon as I can.  In the meantime I’m doing a lot of studying and attending another Keller Williams training course called IGNITE which is AWESOME.  Learning a ton and excited to get started hopefully at the end of February or (more likely) beginning of March.

So there you have it!  I’m going to be a realtor in San Diego.  So, if you’re reading this and planning to list your home or buy a new one later this year definitely let me know!  If you’re happy where you are but know some friends or co-workers who are planning a move I’d love to talk to them as well (once I’m licensed!).  If they’re friends of yours we’ll try to find them a home near yours.  If you don’t really like them that much we’ll find them something far away. 🙂

Living the Dream,

Humble Dave